Eric Estes, Oberlin College’s dean of students, defended the list, which he said is being reviewed by a private consultant.“There are cases when the trespass policy has been absolutely essential to securing the safety and welfare of the campus community,” Estes said.
A few of the letters were attached to court documents or Oberlin Safety and Security reports, but those were a rarity in the file. Mike Mc Closkey said there’s usually a reason the college or a private business tells someone they aren’t welcome.“You get your name in this file by being a knucklehead,” he said.
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OBERLIN — A review of the contents of a worn accordion file folder kept by the Oberlin Police Department to track those forbidden from going certain places in the city showed that 323 people have been banned from the Oberlin College campus.
Oberlin College student Lyle Kash, who is a leader in the One Town Campaign that has been pushing for the college to revise its no trespassing policy, said he has concerns about The Chronicle-Telegram publishing a version of the list culled from the files of Oberlin police in part because he feared those named could face reprisals from the college.“Going public with the list may stir up the hornet’s nest,” he said. Their names appear on the 2006 list, which notes only the name of the person banned and the date they were told to stay off campus.
“But it’s also realistic to be concerned about people’s privacy.”The longest bans in place, according to the police file, date to 1982 when Barry A. A reason for a name being added to the list isn’t included.
The college has declined to release its controversial no trespassing list, citing privacy considerations, but the Police Department considers its file a public record.
The folder contains copies of letters sent to various people over the years informing them that they are no longer welcome on the college’s campus, as well as a copy of the no trespass list dated Sept. The names of two people on the list date back to 1982.
Estes said he’s willing to talk to anyone about the issue and has attended forums on the topic.
But he also said he can’t publicly discuss individual cases.
Critics of the policy have complained that the list encourages racial profiling and believe the process needs to be more transparent.
Kash said while he understands the need to offer security at the college, there also needs to be understanding by college officials that youthful indiscretions shouldn’t bar someone from campus for the rest of their lives.“The no trespass list creates a standard where people are expected never to change,” he said.